The Chelsea men’s team are currently without a permanent manager, following the unceremonious sacking of Graham Potter. As such, there is an interesting school of thought doing the rounds – what if WSL manager Emma Hayes was given the job?
Selected bookmakers are even giving away odds for Hayes to be appointed as the next permanent Chelsea men’s manager. She’s far from a betting favourite – SkyBet currently have her rated at 50/1 to land the job.
Hayes has been linked with jobs in the men’s game before – including with AFC Wimbledon and Crawley Town – but she also does not feel that a job in the EFL would be a ‘step up’. In fact, she branded this notion as ‘insulting’.
But how would Hayes fare in the men’s game? Of course, women’s football is quite different from a tactical perspective. In the modern men’s game, there is a massive focus on intense pressing and forcing turnovers of possession in advantageous positions – this does exist in the women’s game, but it is far less prevalent.
Women’s football in England is somewhat similar to football in La Liga. Players are given more time on the ball, allowing them to be more patient with their passing play.
Nevertheless, it is somewhat foolish to believe that Hayes herself is unaware of this. She will understand the differences between the men’s and the women’s game – probably better than most. As such, she would likely have little problem adapting her approach to suit Premier League football.
Moreover, what reason does Hayes have to leave the Chelsea women’s team? She’s built an unbelievable project with them – in total, the 46-year-old has won five WSL titles and four women’s FA Cups.
Ultimately, a manager of Hayes’ ability would likely succeed anywhere – but jumping straight into such a challenging role for her first men’s manager job could be a bridge too far.